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EOC Activation Levels
The Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center (EOC) operates at one of three levels of readiness in order to carry out its mission. These levels are described below and are patterned to closely match the Florida Division of Emergency Management's EOC activation levels to maintain consistent definitions.
Miami-Dade constantly monitors the County for threats, unusual events, or situations. A Duty Officer is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is advised of any such events by the Miami-Dade Alarm Office, State Warning Point, concerned citizens, or other agencies. The Duty Officer also has the responsibility to monitor and follow-up on any threat, unusual event, or situation that has the potential to impact Miami-Dade County such as media reports, weather advisories, etc. It is important to note that although the County constantly monitors the progression of events within the County, the EOC is not considered activated. During day-to-day operations where no specific situation is occurring, the EOC is not activated.
The expected or actual severity of the incident is paramount in determining the level of activation. The Director or designee, in conjunction with the Mayor, has the responsibility for determining whether the EOC should increase or decrease its level of activation. The purpose of activating the EOC as a result of a disaster is to centralize response and recovery decisions, plans, and operational activities in order to maximize the efficiency, quality, and quantity of resources.
Level 3: Monitoring & Assessment
Level III is typically a monitoring and assessment phase where a specific threat, unusual event, or situation, is actively monitored by the EOC. A Level III activation is an internal process and involves little, if any, inter-agency direction or coordination. The threat, unusual event, or situation simply warrants observation, verification of appropriate action, and follow-up by staff. Events or incidents that occur during Level 3 activation can generally be resolved in a brief period of time by using a very small number of resources. Level III activation does not require significant alterations of its day-to-day operations or management structure.
Upon notification of the existence of a threat, unusual event, or situation, the Duty Officer evaluates the situation, and, if conditions warrant, notifies the Director or designee. Appropriate agencies are alerted, advised of the situation, and instructed to take appropriate action as part of their everyday responsibilities. At the conclusion of the event, the Duty Officer verifies completion of the actions taken and documents the incident.
At times, it is appropriate to hold briefings or staff meetings to respond to, or mitigate the situation, but no Incident Action Plan (IAP) is developed and distributed. Other coordinators may become involved but the Duty Officer will remain the primary point of contact.
Level 2: Partial
Level II partial activation is typically limited agency activation. Staff and ESF lead agencies with a role in the incident response are activated and required to report to the EOC. All other ESFs are alerted of the event and are on standby. The purpose of Level II activation is to initiate preparations due to a significant threat of a disaster or to coordinate response due to the occurrence of a minor disaster. During Level II activation, the EOC may be operational 24 hours a day.
During Level II activation, the EOC disseminates information, and begins to coordinate preparation and response actions with, external agencies, Municipal Branch Representatives, and Miami-Dade County departments tasked in emergency response. The incident command system (ICS) is implemented and the five (5) sections along with the branches are activated.
The EOC Command Staff develops and implements an Incident Action Plan (IAP). The IAP is the work plan for everyone, including the Mayor, Manager and their staff. The EOC personnel are briefed on the IAP and pertinent items are posted on the EOC status boards. In most cases, the Mission Tracking & Message Control Center, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) services, and the Public Information Officer (ESF - 14) are activated. Depending upon the event, any appropriate logistical support elements such as security, food unit, 311, etc. are also activated.
Level 1: Full-Scale
In a full-scale activation, the EOC is activated on a 24-hour schedule due to an imminent threat or occurrence of a disaster. All staff and all ESFs are activated and required to report to the EOC. Municipal Branch Representatives are also in place in the EOC. The ICS is implemented and all sections and branches are activated. As in Level II activation, the IAP establishes the operational objectives and priorities of the incident. Additionally, all logistical support elements are activated.
At this level response, relief, and recovery operations are expected to last for an extended period of time. Additional support or back-up staff, including representatives from the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management and/or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is notified and available to assist should the response escalate and exceed local capability.
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